petej + corbynism   60

We exclude the Labour left from British politics at our peril | Andy Beckett | Opinion | The Guardian
Many people in the rest of the party, and wider British politics and the media, don’t consider the left to be a legitimate Labour tribe, let alone legitimate rulers of the party, let alone a legitimate potential government. This is rarely stated explicitly. Excluding a large and currently vibrant group from mainstream politics can be an awkward argument to make in a democracy – especially when the radical right of the Conservative party has never been othered in the same way. Instead, starting with Margaret Thatcher, it has often run the country. But once you appreciate the implacable hostility the Labour left arouses, it explains a lot of otherwise puzzling British political phenomena.
UK  politics  LabourParty  TheLeft  CorbynJeremy  Corbynism  WatsonTom  CampbellAlastair  FootMichael  BennTony  democracy  media  dctagged  dc:creator=BeckettAndy 
11 days ago by petej
An inevitable division: the politics and consequences of the Labour split | openDemocracy
As I’ve pointed out before most of the Blairite MPs became Labour MPs on the basis of a particular implicit understanding of what that role entailed. According to this understanding, the purpose of a Labour MP is to try to persuade the richest and most powerful individuals, groups and institutions to make minor concessions to the interests of the disadvantaged, while persuading the latter to accept that these minor concessions are the best that they can hope for. That job description might well entail some occasional grandstanding when corporate institutions are engaged in particularly egregious forms of behaviour (such as making loans to very poor people at clearly exorbitant rates), or when the political right is engaged in explicit displays of racism or misogyny. But it doesn’t entail any actual attempt to change the underlying distributions of power in British society; and in fact it does necessarily, and structurally, entail extreme hostility towards anybody who proposes to do that.
UK  politics  LabourParty  IndependentGroup  split  UmunnaChuka  Blairism  GapesMike  LabourFirst  Progress  class  capitalism  centrism  managerialism  anti-Semitism  Corbynism  Brexit  Labourism  coalition  Germany  FreeDemocraticParty  dctagged  dc:creator=GilbertJeremy 
29 days ago by petej
How Thatcherism produced Corbynism - UnHerd
In Britain, as elsewhere, the Thatcherite project was self-undermining. While the country Thatcher brought into being was very different from the one she inherited, it was nothing like the country she intended to fashion. Insofar as it ever existed, her Britain was a country of dutiful middle-class families prudently saving for the future. But rather than consolidating and expanding this middle class, she consigned it to the memory hole. More individualist, post-Thatcher Britain is also less bourgeois.

Aside from their homes, few middle-class people have assets of any importance. Beyond the public sector, pensions are dependent on the vagaries of the market. Without job security, much of the middle class lives only months from penury. Incomes have increased for many, but so has debt. While distancing Labour from its past and turning it into an overwhelmingly middle-class party, Tony Blair continued the hollowing out of middle-class life that Thatcher began.

A type of capitalism emerged in which the practices that shaped bourgeois life as it had been known in the past – saving for the future, pursuing a lifelong career, self-sacrifice for the sake of family stability – became redundant or dysfunctional. Adapting to ceaseless change came to be regarded as the primary virtue. Accelerating and accentuating processes that globalisation was driving anyway, Thatcher created a society she could not have imagined.
UK  politics  academia  tenure  Thatcher  Thatcherism  JosephKeith  Keynesianism  state  welfare  employment  individualism  neoliberalism  precarity  insecurity  post-industrialism  middleClass  Corbynism  TheLeft  globalisation  Brexit  referendum  PeoplesVote  farRight  dctagged  dc:creator=GrayJohn 
10 weeks ago by petej
Lorna Finlayson · Corbyn Now · LRB 27 September 2018
If the path Corbyn has started to follow is again closed off, there are two foreseeable consequences. The first is that anger and disaffection will find another outlet. While frequent reference to a racist and right-wing public opinion has been a convenient device for the protection of the status quo, there is no virtue in maintaining an opposite fiction of the British people as saints and socialists. The appetite for Corbyn’s vision of a more compassionate and co-operative society coexists with a counter-tendency that has been well nurtured in recent years: the tendency towards suspicion of strangers and neighbours, the scapegoating of the vulnerable, resentment and a desire to dominate others. This tendency was on full display during the Brexit referendum campaign, and was given a formidable boost by the result. (There is no need to choose between the interpretation of Brexit as a protest against a neoliberal political establishment or as expressive of an ill-informed, racist bigotry: it is both.) Islamophobic sentiment and related attacks are on the increase, legitimised by a media which has for years been normalising far-right rhetoric. British liberals like to believe that Americans are a different species but they didn’t think that even the Americans would elect Trump. Boris Johnson – limbering up with carefully pitched comments about women in burqas and suicide vests – is a threat not to be underestimated. And there are fates worse than Boris.

The other foreseeable consequence of the defeat of Corbynism is that what remains of the achievements of an earlier Labour Party will be undone. The combination of the economic consequences of Brexit and another few years at the mercy of the Tories or Labour ‘moderates’ will spell certain death for the NHS (even without Brexit, the health service would be doomed to an only slightly slower demise). In this context, the attacks on Corbyn’s leadership are attacks on all those whose lives depend quite literally on a break with politics as we currently know it.
UK  politics  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  Corbynism  LRB  capitalism  Bennism  redistribution  welfareState  taxation  tuitionFees  education  reform  Blairism  centrism  anti-Semitism  IHRA  Israel  Brexit  farRight  dctagged  dc:creator=FinlaysonLaura 
september 2018 by petej
Can Labour forge a new, 21st-century socialism? | John Harris | Opinion | The Guardian
The problem is that these ideas have yet to be turned into the kind of stories and messages that might decisively push Labour somewhere new. The party has been transformed, but it has a split personality – to quote the academic Jeremy Gilbert, Labour continues to be divided between a “decentralised political movement that would like to build a more democratic and cooperative economy” and “a top-down project focused entirely on maintaining Corbyn’s leadership, which is largely proposing a return to the statist social democracy of the postwar era”. The former demands deep thought, and the willingness to surrender old orthodoxies; the latter is a comfort blanket to which much of the party still instinctively clings.
UK  politics  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  Corbynism  Fordism  postFordism  post-industrialism  neoliberalism  democratisation  participation  socialMovements  conservatism  nationalisation  decentralisation  welfare  housing  education  schools  Amazon  exploitation  automation  employment  dctagged  dc:creator=HarrisJohn 
september 2018 by petej
After the storm: what should Corbynism 2.0 look like?
There are three new things Labour can offer the electorate going into the autumn. One is to promise a second referendum. Tactically, it would reconnect Labour with some centrist Remain voters; strategically it offers a route to reuniting a divided country, as the illusion of a hard break with Europe shatters.

The second is a radical devolution offer to Scotland, amounting to the creation of a federal UK, whose aim should be to attract thousands of left-wing independence supporters back to Labour.

The third is a more collective and revitalised shadow cabinet, armed with a short but inspiring programme for Labour’s first Queen’s Speech.
UK  politics  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  Corbynism  IHRA  Tunis  wreath  PLO  media  journalism  smears  UmunnaChuka  centrism  split  Brexit  Momentum  referendum  dctagged  dc:creator=MasonPaul 
august 2018 by petej
The Poverty of Luxury Communism
For Keynes, a former British civil servant who once remarked that “the class war will find [him] on the side of the educated bourgeoisie”7, the purpose of state intervention is to halt capitalism’s decline, meanwhile securing some level of social stability.
socialDemocracy  climateChange  noBorders  state  nationalisation  Keynesianism  Corbynism  abundance  growth  capitalism  Novara  Jacobin  intervention  post-capitalism  BastaniAaron  VirnoPaolo  class  politics 
may 2018 by petej
Reassessing Corbynism: success, contradictions and a difficult path ahead | SPERI
Every one of Corbyn’s much-vaunted manifesto pledges relies on an increased tax-take and growth strategy which are predicated upon remaining in the single market, and thus entail retaining free movement. Yet his manifesto promise to end free movement (reiterated by John McDonnell in the weekend after the election result) makes nationalist protectionism the axiomatic position of both major parties, one which for Labour cannot be overturned without shedding one half of the electoral coalition which has secured Corbyn’s position.
The struggle to win the support of the ex-UKIP Leave vote has led to Farage’s nativist agenda poisoning the well of the British polity as a whole, left and right – the real reason he is still never off the airwaves, despite UKIP’s ostensible collapse. The risk on one side is of economic catastrophe, on the other the development of a ‘stab in the back’ myth of national betrayal. No amount of energetic canvassing or witty memes can bridge such an abyss. It requires the political courage to be truly honest with the electorate about the consequences of withdrawal from the single market, traits which for all Corbyn’s purported authenticity have, in this context at least, been in short supply.
UK  generalElection  ge2017  politics  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  deficit  publicSpending  triangulation  UKIP  Brexit  immigration  freedomOfMovement  welfare  benefits  dctagged  dc:creator=BoltonMatt  Corbynism 
june 2017 by petej
David Runciman · The Choice Was Real · LRB 29 June 2017
Corbyn’s studied avoidance of the issue comes at a price. He has assembled a coalition of voters who have very different expectations of what comes next. For the traditional Labour voters who had defected to Ukip and came back at this election, he needs to help make Brexit happen as promised. For the students and other metropolitan Remainers who flocked to his cause, he needs to put barriers in its way. Of course, there is nothing new about national politicians at the head of catch-all parties having to square the contradictory instincts of their supporters. When two-party politics corrals voters into making a binary choice it is always going to produce these sorts of tensions. Yet what’s striking about the result of this election is just how many divisions two-party politics now has to accommodate. The UK electorate is split between the old and the young, the educated and the less educated, the metropolitan and the provincial, the urban and the rural. The two main parties increasingly resemble loose coalitions of different interest and identity groups, each with its own axe to grind, and primarily united by their dislike and distrust of the people on the other side. Our two-party system is suddenly starting to look like politics in the United States.
UK  politics  MayTheresa  ToryParty  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  ge2017  generalElection  austerity  Brexit  dctagged  dc:creator=RuncimanDavid  LRB  Corbynism 
june 2017 by petej
Corbyn is chiming with the times. But no one can predict anything any more | John Harris | Opinion | The Guardian
We will remember this summer for the rest of our lives. It is starting to feel like a whole decade compacted into mere weeks: despair followed by joy followed by yet more despair, while political certainties that recently seemed rock solid suddenly fall away.

After 10 years of pain, austerity might just be in retreat. The idea of England and Wales as some monochrome expanse, full of nostalgia and nastiness and people content to watch as their social fabric is serially wrecked, has been drastically weakened. The horrors at Grenfell Tower are obviously part of the same moment: a hesitant national awakening in which a sense of dread and worry about where we are headed has been intensified by a sudden realisation about the country we have become.
UK  politics  economics  society  austerity  generalElection  ge2017  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  GrenfellTower  Corbynism 
june 2017 by petej
Britain: The End of a Fantasy | by Fintan O’Toole | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books
There were three problems. Firstly, May demanded her enormous majority so that she could ride out into the Brexit battle without having to worry about mutterings in the ranks behind her. But she has no clue what the battle is supposed to be for. Because May doesn’t actually believe in Brexit, she’s improvising a way forward very roughly sketched out by other people. She’s a terrible actor mouthing a script in which there is no plot and no credible ending that is not an anti-climax. Brexit is a back-of-the-envelope proposition. Strip away the post-imperial make-believe and the Little England nostalgia, and there’s almost nothing there, no clear sense of how a middling European country with little native industry can hope to thrive by cutting itself off from its biggest trading partner and most important political alliance.

May demanded a mandate to negotiate—but negotiate what exactly? She literally could not say. All she could articulate were two slogans: “Brexit means Brexit” and “No deal is better than a bad deal.” The first collapses ideology into tautology. The second is a patent absurdity: with “no deal” there is no trade, the planes won’t fly and all the supply chains snap. To win an election, you need a convincing narrative but May herself doesn’t know what the Brexit story is.

Secondly, if you’re going to try the uno duce, una voce trick, you need a charismatic leader with a strong voice. The Tories tried to build a personality cult around a woman who doesn’t have much of a personality. May is a common or garden Home Counties conservative politician. Her stock in trade is prudence, caution, and stubbornness. The vicar’s daughter was woefully miscast as the Robespierre of the Brexit revolution, the embodiment of the British popular will sending saboteurs to the guillotine. She is awkward, wooden, and, as it turned out, prone to panic and indecision under pressure.

But to be fair to May, her wavering embodied a much deeper set of contradictions. Those words she repeated so robotically, “strong and stable,” would ring just as hollow in the mouth of any other Conservative politician. This is a party that has plunged its country into an existential crisis because it was too weak to stand up to a minority of nationalist zealots and tabloid press barons. It is as strong as a jellyfish and as stable as a flea.

Thirdly, the idea of a single British people united by the Brexit vote is ludicrous. Not only do Scotland, Northern Ireland, and London have large anti-Brexit majorities, but many of those who did vote for Brexit are deeply unhappy about the effects of the Conservative government’s austerity policies on healthcare, education, and other public services. (One of these services is policing, and May’s direct responsibility for a reduction in police numbers neutralized any potential swing toward the Conservatives as a result of the terrorist attacks in Manchester and London.)

This unrest found a voice in Corbyn’s unabashedly left-wing Labour manifesto, with its clear promises to end austerity and fund better public services by taxing corporations and the very wealthy. May’s appeal to “the people” as a mystic entity came up against Corbyn’s appeal to real people in their daily lives, longing not for a date with national destiny but for a good school, a functioning National Health Service, and decent public transport. Phony populism came up against a more genuine brand of anti-establishment radicalism that convinced the young and the marginalized that they had something to come out and vote for.
UK  politics  generalElection  ge2017  Brexit  populism  UKIP  nationalism  tabloids  TheRight  appeasement  MayTheresa  ToryParty  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  austerity  dctagged  dc:creator=O'TooleFintan  Corbynism 
june 2017 by petej
Corbynism or barbarism, part II | Idiot Joy Showland
This has become a deeply ugly place. Our Prime Minister – gurning, grimacing, parochial,  incompetent, rhadmanthine, segmented, arachnid, and inhuman; the Daily Mail letters page given chitinous flesh; a zealous ideologue for the doctrines of smallness and stupidity and dumbfuck blithering hatred; a vicar’s daughter distilling all the common-sense peevishness and resentment from the dingy grog of the English national spirit; a leader who doesn’t so much impose austerity as embody it, in every word or gesture that seeks to foreclose on all possibilities and draw the furthest boundaries of the sunlit world no further your respectable lace curtains – instructs the public to give her more power, to paint over a divided country with a false unity in Parliament, so she can exercise her supreme will. The loyal Tory press responds with terrifying outbursts against all enemies: ‘Hang The Lot,’ ‘Boil The Traitors Alive,’ ‘Insert The Pear Of Anguish Into The Anuses Of Our Enemies So That They May Be Disembowelled From Within,’ ‘Readers Agree: It’s Time To Crush The Heads Of The Remoaners Under A Large Millstone,’ ‘Where Are Our Common-Sense Torture Kennels In Which The People We Don’t Like Are Torn Apart Shred By Shred By Starving Dogs?’ All the anti-establishment energies that fuelled the Brexit vote have been effortlessly consumed by the administration: the people had their say, and (given that this is all out of the Schmittian playbook) they will only get to have it once; now it’s the role of power to implement it, and the will of the people as refracted through this government is for total centralised power with anything that could be called political extinguished. This is fascism: a simple, easy, descriptive term for what it is we’re living under.
CorbynJeremy  LabourParty  UK  politics  ge2017  generalElection  dctagged  dc:creator=KrissSam  Corbynism 
april 2017 by petej

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